Milbank Area added a Northeast Conference victory over the Groton Area Tigers to their total to end their regular season with a 13-7 record. The Lady Bulldogs won the game 49-36 in front of a home crowd at the Milbank Armory Thursday, February 16.
Milbank Area held a 12-9 lead in the first quarter, but struggled to score in the second period and added just four points to their total. Groton Area took the lead at 19-16 at the midway mark.
The Lady Bulldogs turned things around in the second half. Milbank Area outscored the Tigers by six points in the third period to cut the deficit to two points. They trailed 30-28 heading into the final stanza. The Dawgs turned up the defensive pressure, going down the stretch and poured in 19 points in the final quarter. They held Groton Area to just eight points to claim the win 49-36.
“In the second half I thought we moved the ball better on offense which led to more baskets,” stated Milbank Area Head Coach Brian Pauli. “On the defensive end, I thought we turned up our pressure and took away some things Groton wanted to do, which made it difficult for them to score. I am excited for the post-season to begin on Tuesday.”
Gabbi Cummins led the way for the Lady Bulldogs with 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals. Molly Rick followed closely with 11 points and 1 steal. Caryssa Mielitz tallied 8 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and 1 blocked shot. Mackayla Schuelke added 5 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, and 2 steals.
Also adding to the scorebook for the Lady Bulldogs were: Taylor Thue, 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assist; Karlee Mertens, 3 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 blocked shot; Sophia Seffrood, 3 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 blocked shot; LaChasity Finley, 2 points and 1 steal; Mikaela Hoeke, 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 1 steal; Kylie Kasuske, 1 steal.
Milbank Area shot 35 percent from the field – 17 of 48 attempts. The Lady Bulldogs counted 27 rebounds, 20 steals, 5 assists, and 3 blocked shots. They committed 13 turnovers.
Groton Area went 12-of-32 from the field for 38 percent shooting. The Tigers finished the game with 27 rebounds, 9 steals, 5 assists, and 2 blocked shots. They committed 20 turnovers.
The opening round of the Region 1A girls basketball tournament begins Tuesday, February 21, in Sisseton. The first game starts at 4:30 p.m. Stay in touch with The Valley Express for a preview of the region tournament and the final pairings.
Senior Karlee Mertens.